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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...The Quill..." - The Sting BLU RAY (2012 Collector's Series Book Pack)

In April 2012 Universal Studios was 100 years old - and to celebrate that movie-making centenary - they've had 13 of their most-celebrated films fully restored for BLU RAY. But it doesn't stop there. As many as 80 other titles will be given US re-launches across the year each...
Published on 12 Jun 2012 by Mark Barry

21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film, dodgy recording
I bought of the the new ones from the New & Used people.
Not sure if all copies are like this, but my version is in mono. Now, I wasn't expecting 7.1 surround or anything, but I'm sure we had stereo in 1973! The only reason it bothers me is that the soundtrack really makes this film and it is a shame that Scott Joplin isn't done more justice.
Please consider...
Published on 31 Aug 2005

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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...The Quill..." - The Sting BLU RAY (2012 Collector's Series Book Pack), 12 Jun 2012
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
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In April 2012 Universal Studios was 100 years old - and to celebrate that movie-making centenary - they've had 13 of their most-celebrated films fully restored for BLU RAY. But it doesn't stop there. As many as 80 other titles will be given US re-launches across the year each featuring distinctive "100th Anniversary" gatefold card-wrap packaging - and in some cases a host of new features. 1973's "The Sting" is one of the thirteen singled out for full restoration (see list below) - and like the other BLU RAYS in this series so far - is very tastefully done.

UK released Monday 11 June 2012 - "The Sting Collector's Series" comes in a gorgeous limited edition 40-page 'Book Pack' (Barcode 5050582893151). The outer hardback holder has an awkward card wrapped around it which is attached at the front with a flimsy circular sticker - not the most eloquent of objects it has to be said and it contains info that isn't on the back sleeve of the book pack - so you don't want to lose it. It's hard to keep in place without damage - so I put the whole shebang in a plastic sleeve for protection. It's also worth noting that most of the AMERICAN issues are 'two-disc' sets containing the BLU RAY, the DVD and also means to obtain a Digital Copy via download. It appears that the UK issues will contain ONLY the BLU RAY in the Book Pack. However, if you want say "Out Of Africa" or "Buck Privates" (which have yet to be given UK releases) - then the US issues will do because their non-region coding will allow them play in all machines.

Digitally remastered and Fully Restored from Original Film Elements - Universal are reputed to have stumped-up over $300,000 for the restoration - and the results are wonderful for about to 90 to 95% of the time. The opening four minutes will worry fans because the definition is slightly hazy - but once past that - there is a steady stream of moments that are truly breathtaking throughout the duration. Filmed largely on sets on the Universal lot - the quality lighting is consistent throughout even in those difficult and darkly lit night sequences. There is (it has to be said) slight blocking and grain at some points - but mostly you're enjoying the overall sparkle of the print too much to notice.

And because it's uber clean - it accentuates so much. We finally get to see the immaculate costumes of the legendary EDITH HEAD (suits, ties, shirts, hats, overcoats). Then there's the awesome sparkle of Paul Newman's famous blue eyes and Robert Redford looking so handsome in every shot that you just want to hit him! The clarity continues right through the plot cards to the closing credits - which are so clean it could have been done yesterday. The transfer is not all perfect by any means - but at times - this is as beautiful and as filmic as I've ever seen. The audio is crisp and clear too.

You also forget why it received 10 Oscar nominations and won seven - including Best Picture. Everything about "The Sting" works - the charisma of the three principal leads - Paul Newman as Henry Gondorff the master of the 'big con', Robert Redford as the reckless and wild small-time hustler Johnny Hooker and Robert Shaw as the vicious and egotistical Chicago mobster Doyle Lonnegan. Then there's the fantastic ensemble cast - Charles Durning as the corrupt Lt. Snyder, Eileen Brennan as the madam Billie who runs a bordello over an amusement arcade and Harold Gould as the dapper Kid Twist who hires the crew that will bring down Lonnegan on a racetrack scam (he wants the crew to be "The Quill..." which is Grifter-speak for the best). Aiding Gondorff in this endeavour is Jack Kehoe as Eric The Kid - a small-time Grifter who wants revenge for a friend's death at the hands of the mobster Donegan, Ray Walston as J.J. Singleton who helps in the poker game scam and reads out the wire in the bogus betting parlour, John Heffernan who quits his dreary bank job in a heartbeat to join Gondorff's crew as a teller and Dana Elcar as the supposed FBI agent. You may even recognize the dulcet tones of Robert Earl Jones as Harvey the Grifter at the beginning of the movie who gets killed - his son is James Earl Jones - the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars. The other big ingredient of course is the superlative and evocative film score by Marvin Hamlisch that brilliantly reintroduced Scott Joplin's ragtime music to the world.

The 40-page booklet is pure eye candy as you can imagine. It opens with a 2-page appreciation by film-critic and historian Leonard Maltin, a pictorial actor/character "The Players" list, 2-page spreads on Newman, Redford, Shaw and George Roy Hill, reproductions of the script, Edith Head's design drawings, Advert campaigns, a piece on the composer Marvin Hamlisch and the music, Oscar nominations, telegrams of congratulations etc. Lovely to look at...

Having directed Redford and Newman in "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid" - GEORGE ROY HILL was the Director of choice for "The Sting". His almost army-like style is discussed in the pleasingly long and detailed principal extra "The Art Of The Sting" which is divided into 3-parts (55 minutes). He was clearly admired by the actors who trusted his vision (he won the Oscar for Best Director) - it's just such a shame there's no interview with him to illuminate the proceedings. It's also clear that both Redford and Newman who mention each other in the present tense were filmed just prior to Newman's sad passing in 2008. Charles Durning and newcomer Dimitra Arliss give telling and superb recollections of the shoot (how Shaw got his limp) - and both speak highly of the three principals - and the sheer 'fun' it was making the film. They also quite rightly keep referring to David Ward's almost 'perfect' script - which he'd worked on for a whole year.

To sum up - I've loved re-watching this timeless caper movie in such top-notch quality. And it's heartening to see Universal Studios finally throw some proper money at the preservation of their movie legacy - and be proud about doing so too. I'm collecting the whole series - and live in hope that other studios respect their past in the same glorious way.

In 2013 "The Sting" will be 40 years old and (not surprisingly) has stood the test of time.
This 2012 BLU RAY is a lovely reissue of it - and for fans of this glorious Americana piece - a must buy.

BLU RAY Specifications:
1. The Art Of The Sting - A 3-Part Documentary. Features interviews with Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Eileen Brennan, Dimitra Arliss, Marvin Hamlisch (Music) and David S Ward (Script) (55 minutes)
2. 100 Years Of Universal: Restoring The Classics. A look at the intricate process of fixing the fading negatives (scratches, tears, colour loss, grain) and audio (overbearing hiss) by the experts involved (10 minutes)
3. 100 Years Of Universal: The 70's. A look at the iconic films and moviemakers of that time - Spielberg, Landis etc (11 minutes)
4. 100 Years Of Universal: The Lot. A behind-the-scenes look at what was done on the famous Universal Studios lot (10 minutes)
5. Theatrical Trailer

VIDEO: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen 1.85:1
AUDIO: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Italian, German, Spanish DTS Mono 2.0 and Japanese DTS 5.1
SUBTITLES: English SDH, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Icelandic, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish and Traditional Mandarin


If you search Listmania on Amazon UK for "Universal 100th Anniversary - Restored Films To Blu Ray"
It will give you my visual list of the following 20 titles. The list also contains fuller details on the releases, region coding, packaging etc.
As noted below - some are reviewed too...

1. Abbott And Costello in Buck Privates (1941) BOOK PACK
2. Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) BOOK PACK
3. All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) BOOK PACK [see Detailed Review]
4. The Birds (1963) [no individual release as yet - but the restored version is part of the "Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection" Box Set]
5. The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)
6. Dracula (1931)
7. E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
8. Frankenstein (1931)
9. The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)
10. The Invisible Man (1933)
11. Jaws (1975) [BOOK PACK version is USA-only - see visual list]
12. The Mummy (1932)
13. Out Of Africa (1985) [BOOK PACK] [see Detailed Review]
14. The Phantom Of The Opera (1943)
15. Pillow Talk (1959) [BOOK PACK] [see Detailed Review]
16. Schindler's List (1993) Release date to be advised...
17. The Sting (1973) [BOOK PACK] [see Detailed Review]
18. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) [BOOK] [see Detailed Review]
19. Universal's Classic Monsters - The Essential Collection
Released both USA and UK (non-region coding so will play on all machines) in October 2012 - this superb 8-disc box set contains Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), The Phantom Of The Opera (1943) and The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954). There's also a 'Coffin' shaped version of this box set that is a limited edition. Both come with booklet and poster prints for each of the movies.
20. The Wolf Man (1941)

PPS: For a list of the 'USA' titles in the "100th Anniversary" series to date (Oct 2012) see the 'comment' section attached to this review (60+ BLU RAY and 90+ DVD).
There are a large number of great films available Stateside that have no UK or European release date as yet. However, most are Region Free so will play on UK machines - but check this first to be sure...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best this film has ever looked, 9 Sep 2013
Max (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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The Sting is a classic con film. Anything with Redford and Newman is bound to be great, but the Sting has a story that surpases even these two great thespians. I have been after Universal's remastering on Blu Ray for a while, and have finally got a copy. First of all hats off to Universal, it looks stunning. I have another 100th anniversay Blu Ray: To Kill A Mocking Bird, and it's unbelievable how good it looks. The Sting is the same. I love the fact they kept the deep shadows in this film, as apposed to trying to brighten and gain more clarity. Some films need that depth. The murky back streets and alleyways and the dinners and shops and Chicago all come alive with such beautiful detail. Everything looks fresh and new. The sound is also great, capturing the Scott Joplin rag time soundtrack really well and the sounds of the streets too. For those that love this film, do yourself a favour and upgrade to Blu Ray and see it as its meant to be seen.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blissful Revenge, 10 Jun 2011
This is an award winning oldie (1970) that's great fun with a good dose of suspense. Sweet revenge of the con men on the 'really' bad guy. Intricate deception, timing and comedy combine to keep you on the edge of your chair with a surprise ending to thorooughly satisfy. Charming fun as Redford and Newman carry off a complex sting with similar quirky comedy twists as the 1990 Australian "Big Steal" where Ben Mendelsohn takes revenge on the con man so star Steve Bisley while trying to get on with his romance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Con-tastic, 31 July 2012
Michael fear (Birmingham , uk) - See all my reviews
Ive been a huge fan of the sting since I saw it randomly one night on tv. Since then it has consistently been in my top 5 films of all time! Universal have done a fantastic job with this special edition not only with the transfer to Blu-ray but also the packaging! Highly recommend this to everyone!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best... do ya foller!?, 21 Dec 2008
Richard Rogers "spitfire" (Flintshire, N Wales) - See all my reviews
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5stars for this film in every aspect. The feel, the story, the characters, the music , the sets, everything. Redford and Newman are awesome as they try and pull off the big con. Two of the biggest names in Hollywood and they make great acting look effortless. Their on screen chemistry is fantastic.

Robert Shaw is superb as the vicious crime lord who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. His subtle hints as to what will happen if his 'customers' don't obey his word are legend, do you follow!

This film is 35 years old now and the beauty of it is it will never fade, its a timeless piece and a must for any fan of the silver screen, young or old. When they say 'they don't make them like this anymore' its never more true for this classic.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the Big Con ... and it's Hooker by a nose!, 21 Nov 2005
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
The year is 1936, and while generally there's a depression on, small-time Joliet grifter Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and his pals Luther Coleman and Joe Erie (Robert Earl Jones and Jack Kehoe) have just hit the big one, taking over $10,000 from a mark in a routine street con. What they don't know, unfortunately, is that their mark is actually a runner for the Illinois operation of New York banker-turned-mob boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), who loses no time sending a pair of killers after them, commenting dryly that "you can't encourage this kind of thing ... ya' folla'?" Hours later, Luther is found dead below his living room window. Shocked and angry, Johnny and Joe nevertheless know they have to beat it, and quickly. Johnny decides to go to Chicago, to look up Luther's old friend Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman), whom Luther has described as a true big-timer. He is less than impressed, however, when he finds Gondorff sleeping off the previous night's booze, actually lying in a corner *beside* his bed. His impression only changes after they have started to talk (and not before he has given him a good drenching in the bath tub to sober him up) and Hooker begins to get an inkling that this guy Gondorff actually does know what he's talking about.
Thus, the scene is set for one of film history's greatest cons, where Gondorff and Hooker devise a scheme to sting Lonnegan out of a half million dollars in a venture including everything from a bamboozled poker round (courtesy of technical advisor John Scarne, whose hands doubled for Newman's) to a scam bookmaking outfit and the temporary hijacking of a telegraph office - as much in revenge for Luther's death (because, as Hooker explains, he "[doesn't] know enough about killing to kill [Lonnegan]") as for the scheme's financial prospect, which alone is big enough to make it worthwhile; and then, of course there is the thrill of the chase itself! And they're not even put off by the fact that Hooker is sought, besides by Lonnegan's killers, by Joliet "bunko" cop Snyder (Charles Durning) - less because of the latter's official duties, though, but because, bullied by Snyder into coughing up the better part of his share of the take from Lonnegan's runner, Hooker has had the brilliant idea of passing him counterfeit money; thus incurring the cop's wrath as surely as he has already incurred Lonnegan's.
"The Sting" reprised the successful cooperation of Redford, Newman and director George Roy Hill that had paid off so well four years earlier in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," earning Hill one of seven Academy Awards - the most coveted one besides "Best Movie," which also went to this movie - and Redford his first "Best Actor" Oscar nomination (why Newman wasn't likewise at least nominated will forever remain one of the Academy's mysteries). The screenplay was inspired by David W. Maurer's 1940 book "The Big Con," which chronicles the exploits of several depression-era con artists whose names, in turn, inspired those of several of the movie's characters, including Henry Gondorff, J.J. Singleton, Eddie Niles and Kid Twist (the latter three played with panache, wit and tongue firmly planted in cheek by Ray Walston, John Heffernan and the great, prolific Harold Gould).
Screenwriter David S. Ward - another one of the film's seven Oscar winners - created Hooker's role with Robert Redford in mind from the start. Redford, however, initially declined and only changed his mind (still not expecting the movie to be a major success) after Jack Nicholson had likewise turned it down in the interim. He would soon be proven dead wrong; indeed, everything came together as in a dream for the production: Two stars with confirmed on-screen chemistry, each of whom alone possessed enough charisma to turn even the slightest scene into a magical moment but who together were darn near unbeatable; a despite an not entirely convincing Irish accent eminently credible, intelligent and menacing villain; a great supporting cast that also included Eileen Brennan (Gondorff's girlfriend Billie), Dimitra Arliss (Hooker's love interest Loretta), Dana Elcar (would-be FBI Agent Polk) and Charles Dierkop (Lonnegan's right-hand man Floyd); a spunky script with new plot twists and memorable one-liners at every corner; meticulously researched, spot-on cinematography and art direction, earning the film Academy Award No. 4 (Art Direction) plus a nomination in the "Best Cinematography" category - all the more amazing as the movie was filmed almost entirely on Universal's back lot and includes only a few days' worth of location shots - likewise meticulously researched period costumes (Oscar No. 5 for the film and No. 7 for honoree Edith Head, out of no less than 25 (!) nominations); superb camerawork and editing (Oscar No. 6, Editing) and last but not least an Oscar-winning soundtrack, compiled by Marvin Hamlisch from Scott Joplin's ragtime tunes - which actually were no longer popular in the 1930s but fit the movie's tone like a tee.
Having watched the movie countless times, I sometimes wonder (only now that I'm finally reasonably familiar with its breathtaking plot twists, I hasten to add) whether it makes sense that in a well-organized outfit like Lonnegan's, which instantly identified Hooker, Coleman and Erie as the grifters who had conned their runner and also instantly knew their places of abode, both in Joliet *and* Hooker's new Chicago address, the right hand should have been so ignorant of the left hand's pursuits that it never dawned on anyone that the kid conning himself into Lonnegan's confidence under the name Kelly was actually none other than the Johnny Hooker they were pursuing for the Joliet hit. But ultimately this is nit-picking I'll admit, and it does not take away one iota of the movie's fun and overall class.
So, settle down with a beer, pop in the new special edition DVD (finally - what took you so long, Universal?!), and enjoy - for the flag is up ... and they're off again!!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic..., 7 May 2006
"The sting" (1973) might be an old film, but I think it is sensible to say that, for all practical purposes, it is new for those who haven't watched it before. That was my case, and it might be yours :)

The story is set in the thirties, and it is nothing less than excellent, good enough to keep you at the edge of your sit. Hooker (Robert Redford) and Luther (Robert Earl Jones) are con artists that steal from the wrong person, a crook that works for a big time mobster, Lonnegan (Robert Shaw). Lonnegan doesn't take that kindly, and sends his goons to kill the conmen. Luther dies, but Hooker survives, and from that moment onwards has only two purposes: stay alive, and take revenge. Of course, Hooker will not be alone, as he will have the help of Gondorff (Paul Newman), another con artist and one of Luther's old friends.

All in all, I firmly believe that this film is a timeless classic you shouldn't miss. Directed by George Roy Hill and with a superb cast, "The sting" is the kind of movie that surprises you till the very end. Highly recommended!

Belen Alcat
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 31 Aug 2013
PeeJay (Devon England) - See all my reviews
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I'm sure many of you will have seen this film but for those browsing the film revues for a another film to add to the library, then this one is sure to please. There is a bit of everything in this film and shows off Paul Newman and Robert Redford at their best. The period dress, street scenes and old vehicles of the time, adds to the pleasure this film gives. Get it. 5*****
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All it takes is a little confidence..., 13 April 2013
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sting Limited Edition Digibook [Blu-ray] [1973] (Blu-ray)
The 70s was an uncertain decade for the Hollywood studios, many of whom were hovering on the verge of bankruptcy in the face of declining audiences and stronger competition from television. One of the most desperate responses was an almost industry-wide appeal to nostalgia with a slew of films set in the Twenties and Thirties when moviegoing was at its height, resulting in a few modest hits (Paper Moon, The Great Gatsby), many big disappointments (The Day of the Locust, Lucky Lady, The Great Waldo Pepper, The Last Tycoon, Valentino), and a few outright box-office disasters (At Long Last Love, The Boy Friend, Won Ton Ton The Dog Who Saved Hollywood, Doc Savage). Only one was a genuine blockbuster: The Sting. It's not hard to see why. David S. Ward's ingenious screenplay perfectly captures the spirit of the Warner Bros. films of the Thirties, surrounding its superstar leads Newman and Redford and Robert Shaw's genuinely dangerous villain with a richly drawn and well cast rogue's gallery of supporting players - Eileen Brennan, Harold Gould, Ray Walston, Charles Durning, Jack Kehoe - who could have stepped right out of a James Cagney or Edward G. Robinson film. They're not parodies or sendups but perfectly realised scene stealers who all have something to do in the film's plot - or rather plots, since there's always at least two things visibly going on at any one time and a lot more that isn't immediately visible to the naked eye as well. It's that ability to second guess not just the intended victim of the team of conmen out for revenge but the audience as well, and unlike most twist-in-the-tail movies, this is one that stands up to repeat viewings to see just how cleverly the film misdirected your attention to pull the wool over your eyes. More intriguing still, it doesn't cheat - it just relies on you to think what it wants you to while at the same time constantly explaining exactly how it gets you to look the wrong way.

Better still, it's actually fun while at the same time being set in a wonderfully realised rundown Thirties (even if the terrific Scott Joplin score is out of period) that's far from romanticised: these are desperate times filled with dangerous people who aren't afraid to kill just to save face. It raises the stakes, increases the odds against our heroes and keeps everything from being too easy or running too much to plan while still relying on brain rather than brawn to get the job done. It's a wonderfully smart entertainment, delivered with real but unshowy style by director George Roy Hill, who uses Golden Age Hollywood conventions like the cast's old-fashioned screen credits and classy Saturday Evening Post-style 'chapter cards' while still keeping it at once modern and timeless.

Universal's Blu-ray edition is essentially the same extras package as the DVD, but that includes not upgrading them for the higher resolution format. The excellent 56-minute documentary The Art of The Sting reunites most of the key players with the exception of Hill (whose Parkinson's Disease kept him from contributing) and is pleasingly detailed, but unfortunately the documentary hasn't been enhanced for widescreen TVs, which means fullframe 1.33:1 interviews give way to letterboxed extracts from the film that look like postage stamps in the centre of the screen. The trailer has the same problem and is similarly presented in standard definition, with the only HD extras being a trio of new featurettes for Universals 100th anniversary that appear on some other titles - Restoring the Classics, The Lot and The 70s, the latter being the only one to feature the film itself. The initial copies of the Blu-ray came in a nicely produced 40-page digibook, though most copies are now in a standard plastic jewel case. The picture quality on the feature is a very respectable anamorphic widescreen transfer that has few of the more noticeable problems that some of Universal's other back-catalogue titles have from the studio's tendency to overdo the DNR.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Digibook, 28 Jan 2013
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Great Blu-Ray transfer. Exzcellent price compared to the U.S. version. A must buy for people who love classic movies. A must buy for all collectors.
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The Sting [DVD] [1977]
The Sting [DVD] [1977] by George Roy Hill (DVD - 2000)
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